Over the past several weeks there has been much speculation about head football coach Scott Maxfield’s future at Henderson State University.
After contemplating an offer from Northwestern State University (NCAA Division I FCS), Maxfield has decided to remain head coach of the Reddies.
“It was a difficult decision, but the longer my wife (Beth Ann) and I weighed the issue, the decision became very easy,” said Maxfield. “We love Henderson State University and the community of Arkadelphia. We have established some great relationships with the people throughout the community and at the University.”
Maxfield spent five years as an assistant at Northwestern State under former HSU director of athletics and then-coach of the Demons Sam Goodwin. Maxfield was defensive line coach from 1991 to 1994, before becoming Goodwin’s defensive coordinator from 1994 to 1996.
“We enjoyed our time in Natchitoches (Louisiana),” said Maxfield. “But when it came down to making a decision on whether to return to Louisiana or stay here in Arkansas it became quite clear that Henderson State is definitely where we want to be.”
In his eight seasons at Henderson State, Maxfield has compiled a 49-35 record, two conference championships, has coached 61 all-conference honorees, 33 all-region selections, 18 All-Americans and two Harlon Hill Trophy Finalists.
“We have built something special here at Henderson State,” said Maxfield. “The support of our alumni, boosters, faculty and the students has been incredible, especially this last season.”
Maxfield and his staff will now focus on solidifying his 2013 recruiting class.
“With the success of our program, it has made it easier to recruit,” said Maxfield. “We had a record number of recruits on campus during the season with over 60 on campus during the Battle of the Ravine. The staff has done a great job in identifying and contacting some of the best athletes around and I feel that we will have a great signing class in February.
This past year, Maxfield led the Reddies to one of their most historic seasons.
Maxfield, who was named the 2012 Great American Conference Coach of the Year, guided Henderson State to its first undefeated/untied regular season for the first time in school history as the Reddies were 10-0 overall including an 8-0 record in the GAC, to claim the league title.
Under Maxfield’s leadership, the Reddies earned their highest-ever national ranking since becoming a member of the NCAA in 1993. Henderson State was ranked in the AFCA Top 25 Poll for most of the season and ranked No. 6 at the conclusion of the regular-season. The Reddies also advanced to the NCAA Division II playoffs for the first time in school history and hosted a second round playoff game.
A record 11 Reddies earned GAC Player of the Week honors, 19 players earned All-GAC honors and 10 Reddies were named First-Team All-GAC.
Maxfield’s team also produced the GAC Offensive Player of the Year in Kevin Rodgers, the GAC Defensive Player of the Year in Maxie Graham, and the GAC Freshman of the Year in Tim Llewellyn. Rodgers, Graham and Israel Valentin earned All-American honors, with Rodgers also being a finalist for the Harlon Hill Trophy.
The Reddies led the nation in scoring (50.36 points per game), were third in total offense (516.82 yards per game), third in passing offense (377.64 yards per game), and third in passing efficiency (172.79). Henderson State also outscored its opponents by an average of 29 points per game.
Prior to Maxfield’s arrival, Henderson struggled to make the transition from the NAIA to the NCAA Division II level.
From 1993 to 2004, Henderson had just one winning season and a combined record of 35-90-1 in those 12 seasons.
After a rebuilding year in 2005, Maxfield has led the Reddies to six non-losing seasons in the last seven years.
In his second year at Henderson in 2006, the Reddies finished with an 8-3 record. It was Henderson’s first winning season since 1995. The Reddies finished with a 7-3 mark the following year in 2007 making it the first time since the 1989 and 1990 seasons that Henderson finished with back-to-back winning seasons.
Henderson finished with a 6-2 record in the Gulf South Conference in 2006 and 2007 finishing tied for second both years.
In 2010, Maxfield coached the Reddies to their first conference championship in 25 years as Henderson State claimed a share of the GSC title. Maxfield was tabbed GSC Co-Coach of the Year, while quarterback Nick Hardesty earned Player of the Year honors.
Despite being limited to just five conference games, the 2011 Reddies finished second in their first year as members of the Great American Conference recording a 4-1 conference record including a 41-36 victory over conference champion Ouachita Baptist.
In the last three seasons under Maxfield’s leadership, Henderson State has combined for a 23-9 record overall and a 23-6 record against NCAA Division II opponents while claiming two conference championships. The Reddies have also won 12 straight games against NCAA Division II Arkansas institutions and have won the last three meetings against Ouachita Baptist in the Battle of the Ravine.
“I want to thank the Henderson State Board of Trustees, President Glen Jones and Director of Athletics Kale Gober for having the confidence in me to continue leading the football program at Henderson State,” said Maxfield. “I look forward and accept the challenge of taking this program to the next level.”